Orthodox canticles

This is a bit of a niche request but someone might be able to assist. I hope so.

I'm looking for an English translation of the biblical canticles or odes that form the Byzantine canon and are sung at Lauds in the Western Rite, and are usually published along with the Psalter.

Specifically, I'm looking for translations that are already in use in Orthodox churches and importantly that are not in ye olde worlde Englyshe.

The psalter that I use is that by Archimandrite Lazarus (Moore), of blessed memory as I find that it is the best modern English version that I have encountered. However, he did not include a translation of the biblical canticles.

I have the texts by the communities at New Skete but they're just so very awful...

Are there others that I could perhaps use? I know that some communities in Australia have been using contemporary language texts. Also, is there anything by Archimandrite Ephrem (Lash) that might be available? He was something of a pioneer of modern texts in the UK.

Many thanks.

Comments

  • angloidangloid Shipmate
    Tangent, but the Lash family was/is an amazing ecumenical project!
  • IereusIereus Shipmate
    The Horologion published by the Melkite Catholic Eparchy of Newton, MA, is quite comprehensive and written in decent modern English.
  • What's a "canticle"?
  • IereusIereus Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    What's a "canticle"?

    I think we usually call them odes. In the Byzantine Rite, they’re usually suppressed except for the ninth ode, the Magnificat, Luke 1:46ff.
  • Isn't the canon divided into odes?
  • IereusIereus Shipmate
    Right, canons are divided into nine odes - basically chapters. If you look in an Horologion they have the nine biblical odes for Orthros/Matins, that’s what Cyorian wants. I believe in older times, the “fixed” biblical odes were chanted along with the daily canon from the Menaion. Hence, Matins taking 3 or 4 hours!
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited August 13
    I loved Archimandrite Ephrem's introduction here..."doggerel" -- he he.

    Here is Matins.

    Sorry to veer your thread off your highway of translation to a country lane of my confusion, but I was always confused why Archimandrite Ephrem's odes were so different to those we used (page 13 here). May I ask that here? Or am I getting service parts confused?

    edit: main page here -- https://web.archive.org/web/20160306181808/http://anastasis.org.uk/liturgic.htm
  • CyprianCyprian Shipmate
    angloid wrote: »
    Tangent, but the Lash family was/is an amazing ecumenical project!

    Do you mean his family of liturgical texts or his biological family?
    Iereus wrote: »
    The Horologion published by the Melkite Catholic Eparchy of Newton, MA, is quite comprehensive and written in decent modern English.

    Thank you for this recommendation, Ierus.

    Without wanting to infringe any copyright, do you know where I might be able to view a sample to see whether it's suitable?
    mousethief wrote: »
    What's a "canticle"?

    A canticle is a poetic text or oration - usually taken from Scripture - that is sung liturgically. For example, the Nunc Dimittis and Magnificat are two examples of biblical canticles.

    As you rightly said, in the Byzantine Rite, the canon is made up of these 9 canticles (or odes, as they are often called in that context). It is these that are usually printed at the back of most Orthodox editions of the Psalter (although Ode 2 is considered penitential so is reserved for certain weekdays of Lent, hence its omission from most canons).

    Troparia for the saint, feast or mystery being celebrated on a given day are sung or read towards the end of each of the odes. They are kick-started by a short hymn called the Irmos, which carries the theme of the ode, and then interspersed between the last few verses of the ode you'll have the troparia, each one introduced by a short refrain for the feast or saint.

    On my name day, for instance, each ode would look something like:
    • Most of the text of the ode.
    • Irmos expressing the theme of the ode
    • Refrain: O Holy Hieromartyr Cyprian, pray to God for us!
    • 1st troparion of St Cyprian
    • next verse of the ode
    • Refrain: O Holy Hieromartyr Cyprian...
    • 2nd troparion of St Cyprian
    • next verse of the ode
    • Refrain: O Holy Hieromartyr Cyprian...
    • 3rd troparion of St Cyprian
    • next verse of the ode

    And so forth until the end.

    As Ierus said, these days, when reading the canon, most places do not sing the odes at all (with the exception of the final one), and instead just sing or read the refrains and troparia that are meant to come between the verses. I have heard of some monasteries where they do the canon in full on certain occasions. When you think that these odes as well as all of the troparia (often repeated) would have originally been sung in full to melismatic Byzantine chants, it's easy to see how the All-night Vigil literally lasted all night. It would be unrealistic in modern parish practice.

    In the Western Rite, we sing seven canticles at Lauds, but not all at the same service, so there tends not to be the same temptation to omit or abbreviate them. Instead, they're sung on a daily cycle:

    Sunday: Benedicite, omnia opera Domini (A Song of Creation) - Daniel 3: 57-88
    Monday: Cantemus Domino (The Song of Moses & Miriam) - Exodus 15: 1-16
    Tuesday: Audite caeli (The Song of Moses) - Deuteronomy 32: 1-11
    Wednesday: (The Song of Hannah) - 1st Kingdoms 2: 1-10)
    Thursday: (The Song of Habakkuk) - Habakkuk 3: 2-11
    Friday: (The Song of Isaiah) - Isaiah 26: 9-19
    Saturday: (The Song of Jonah) - Jonah 2: 3-10

    Incidentally, if anybody could help me with the Latin incipits for the rest of the above, I'd be grateful.

    Thanks, all.
  • Cyprian wrote: »
    A canticle is a poetic text or oration - usually taken from Scripture - that is sung liturgically. For example, the Nunc Dimittis and Magnificat are two examples of biblical canticles.
    How does it differ from a "hymn"? Which is a poetic text set to music.
  • CyprianCyprian Shipmate
    Climacus wrote: »
    I loved Archimandrite Ephrem's introduction here..."doggerel" -- he he.

    :)
    Here is Matins.

    Sorry to veer your thread off your highway of translation to a country lane of my confusion, but I was always confused why Archimandrite Ephrem's odes were so different to those we used (page 13 here). May I ask that here? Or am I getting service parts confused?

    Please don't apologise. Questions are what the thread's all about.

    Your question is partly answered in my post above, but I failed to mention that, at the end of each canticle would be a short hymn called the katavasia. In the canon, the canticle and its verses would traditionally be sung antiphonally by two choirs, but at the end of each canticle, they would come together to sing the katavasia. Like the troparion with its refrains, the katavasia is proper to the feast or saint.

    The ones in your link are specific to the canon of the Holy Cross, while in the link to Fr Ephrem's translations he gives the Sunday canon of the Resurrection. I'm sure there'll be some Byzantine calendar-related reason why the canon of the Cross was appointed for yesterday.

    God bless you for this! A wealth of materials.

    I had hoped that someone would preserve his online work after his repose but it seems we're to rely in the internet archive. I would do it myself if I had the time and the assurance that it isn't protected in some way.

    C
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Ah...thank you. I think when I last looked (several years ago) it was a certain season of the Church so the hymns were different then too. Thank you for the thorough answer.

    He did wonderful work; may his memory be eternal! I remember, when I was a better Christian, reading through the multitude of hymns and prayers he had diligently translated of a night -- the words and images raised my soul to the heights. Such a labour of love, and such a gift to the world in his extensive translations. I too hoped his work might be preserved elsewhere. I also feel guilty I never wrote to him to express my appreciation (I got to Fr Hopko in time). Not sure if those in heaven know our thoughts (one hopes not!), but I hope he knows the joy and blessing his work brought.
  • CyprianCyprian Shipmate
    edited August 13
    mousethief wrote: »
    Cyprian wrote: »
    A canticle is a poetic text or oration - usually taken from Scripture - that is sung liturgically. For example, the Nunc Dimittis and Magnificat are two examples of biblical canticles.
    How does it differ from a "hymn"? Which is a poetic text set to music.

    I suppose I think of "canticle" as a subset of "hymn", the latter being a broader term which would include things such as troparia, kontakia, stikhera, and in the west the ancient Ambrosian (and other) office hymns. These are all different types of hymn but they're not canticles, which are usually quoted chunks of Scripture which are sung as hymns.

    ETA that the canticles tend to appear in Scripture as songs or prayers, either of an individual or a group.
  • In Western usage, at least in my experience, "canticle" (which simply means "little song") refers to a hymn or song taken from Scripture, including the deuterocanonical books but not including the Psalter. The one possible exception to that definition that I can think of would be the Te Deum, which is not found is Scripture but which is sometimes called a canticle.
  • ForthviewForthview Shipmate
    Cyprian -if I am allowed to say this,the following may help you
    Wed. Exultavit cor meum in Domino
    Thurs Domine,audivi auditionem tuam et timui
    Fri Anima mea desideravit te in nocte
    Sat Clamavi de tribulatione mea ad Dominum

    Anyone wishing a translation into English should consult Cyprian's earlier post,find the relevant chapter and verse and then read in English.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    In CofE usage, a Canticle is a song taken from another part of scripture than the Psalms, with, as has already been said, the addition by long custom of the Te Deum

    The 1662 prayer book only had a few, but if you look at Common Worship Daily Prayer you'll find not-metric versions of a lot more in modern English. I think equivalents of most of the Odes are there, but there may well be discrepancies as to which verses are included.

    It was possible to download the entire book in pdf but at the moment, I can't find it.
  • OblatusOblatus Shipmate
    I think of a canticle as a psalm that's from Scripture but not from the book of Psalms.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    edited August 13
    Is phos hilaron a canticle then? I have heard it called so, but then it's not a chunk o' scripture.
  • I’ve always heard/seen phos hilaron termed a “hymn.” But that’s just me/my experience.
  • I think it's listed among the canticles in the 1982 (TEC) BCP
  • OblatusOblatus Shipmate
    The Phos hilaron is called a "hymn" in the 1979 BCP and isn't among the 21 canticles.
  • It’s not listed in the Table of Canticles (p 144–45). In Evening Prayer, Rite II the rubric introducing it says “The following or some other hymn….” In An Order for Worship in the Evening, it is introduced with “The following hymn….”
  • Sorry. Cross-posted with @Oblatus.
  • Okay I was thinking of something else, I guess.
  • CyprianCyprian Shipmate
    Forthview wrote: »
    Cyprian -if I am allowed to say this,the following may help you
    Wed. Exultavit cor meum in Domino
    Thurs Domine,audivi auditionem tuam et timui
    Fri Anima mea desideravit te in nocte
    Sat Clamavi de tribulatione mea ad Dominum

    Anyone wishing a translation into English should consult Cyprian's earlier post,find the relevant chapter and verse and then read in English.

    Oh, thank you so very much!

    This is just what I needed. :)
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